Vampire queen 8 bound.., p.35

Vampire Queen 8 - Bound by the Vampire Queen - Joey W Hill, page 35


Vampire Queen 8 - Bound by the Vampire Queen - Joey W Hill

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  Jacob looked down at the scroll.

  You found your way to our world. Your servant rode a waterhorse. You survived the spear of Dagda. All admirable in their own way, but to have the right to leave or stay, you will perform one quest at my bidding, not at the fortune of circumstances or through your servant’s cleverness.

  As you know, Lord Reghan’s punishment was to be turned into a rose bush and left in the desert to die. This bush was placed in a desert accessible through our portals, an enchanted place, a prison for those who commit crimes against the Fae.

  Lord Reghan was a Fae of great power.

  Though he did in fact die in the desert, the rose bush has remained, a skeletal, dried up thing in the sand, refusing to be reduced to dust. When a Fae of his power dies, his soul, his essence, becomes a gemstone. That gemstone is beneath the dried rosebush, still feeding it through its power. I want the gemstone. I want the essence of my father’s soul.

  You will don the clothing in your wardrobe.

  Do not bother wearing anything else or try to put additional supplies in the pack I’ve provided you. They will not go through the portal. You have three days to find the rosebush. Though it takes a very, very long time for a Fae to die of starvation or thirst, there are other predators in the desert that will take advantage of your weakness as you feel those effects.

  As always, you have a choice. You may go with the consort I’ve assigned you and stay in this world at my pleasure, or fulfill this quest. I would wish you good luck, sister, but though I wish you success, we both know I care little if I end up prying his soul essence from your lifeless fingers.

  Jacob lifted his gaze back to his lady. “So much for sisterly love. She’s full of shit and you know it.”

  “It doesn’t change the fact that this is the last hurdle, the one that gives us freedom to go or stay.” She’d donned leggings, a tunic and boots. He noted there was no cloak, nothing to protect her face from a desert sun.

  “In three days, we could petition for that from Tabor, regardless.”

  “No. While he wants me to serve as liaison, he needs Rhoswen’s agreement on it. He told me he was ruthless for a reason. It was a reminder. He doesn’t interfere with the business of the Unseelie world except in an extraordinary circumstance, like calling off the assassination attempts on my mother. I doubt my discomfort at having to stay here as someone’s consort would qualify as anything so drastic.”

  Not sure he agreed, but not having Tabor present to argue the point, Jacob considered the parchment, sifting through various options in his head. “Any chance you’ve ever grill ed Mason on how he survived three hundred years in the Sahara?”

  “I spent some time with him there. Not that it will be much help. This won’t adhere to the usual rules of a desert.”

  “Was that where you learned the belly dancing?” He lifted his gaze to hers, things far different from her dance skill's in his intent expression. Though she saw it, she kept her tone light.

  “He taught me the steps, on a few very long nights.

  Did you like it?”

  “I think you know the answer to that. Though I don’t like to think about the ways he might have taught you.”

  “Possessive servant.”

  “Damn straight.” He sobered. “This says you have to leave within the hour.”

  “This is my quest, Jacob. You can’t go on this one, and we both know it.” She nodded to the window.

  “Dawn will come in minutes. It’s a desert. No cover, blazing hot sun. You won’t survive it. I need you here, for when I come back.”

  The pack in the wardrobe contained a full water skin, a couple dense pieces of bread and meat, a wide brimmed hat and what appeared to be a small pruning knife. There was also a lined pouch, perhaps for carrying the gemstone. When she lifted it out and turned around, she wasn’t surprised to find Jacob planted in front of her. He caught her hands and tossed the pack to the side. “How many times do we have to go through this, my lady? Where you go, I follow.”

  “And how do you propose to do that, Jacob?” Her temper flared as she yanked her hands back. “She’s given me three days. I’m to leave in the next hour, or I forfeit the quest. She’s deliberately designed this one so I have to do it alone.”

  “Which is why you shouldn’t.”

  “I'll be alright. I can stay in mind contact.”

  “Unless that portal to the desert shuts down the mind link between us. She would have thought about that as well. I think you should cal her bluff. I don’t think she'll kill either one of us outright if you refuse.

  Tabor is now aware of your existence. If you refuse to choose either option, she might make us miserable for several days, but I don’t think she’d be so ballsy she’d do something that can’t be undone.”

  “I think she’s determined to prove her autonomy at every turn. We’ve seen her wrath against me is quite personal and not always rational. Though our deaths might earn his great displeasure, she would weather it. In the end, she is a queen of the Unseelie. He can’t unseat her without tearing Seelie and Unseelie apart, and they’ve both been down that road. ”

  “What if she thinks of another reason to keep us here, after you go through this, making it all mean nothing?”

  “There are rules here, as Keldwyn said. This will be what earns me standing in her court, and that’s a foundation on which everything else can be built, both here and in our own world.” Lyssa gave him a sharp look. “You know all this.”

  He took two steps away and swore viciously, kicking the wardrobe hard enough the door slammed closed and a crack appeared in the dark wood. “My place is by your side, Lyssa, and you damn well know it.”

  When he turned back to her, furious, dangerous, those red sparks in his eyes, she reached up, laid her hands on his cheeks. It wasn’t unexpected when he gripped her wrists, tightening in demand against her will , but she held his gaze, refused to back down.

  “Your place is where I tell you to be. You are my servant, are you not? I am your Mistress.” Though he set his jaw stubbornly, she detected the first shard of helpless fury lancing through him. He knew she was going to win this one. A long time ago, she’d wondered why she accepted a difficult, alpha Irishman as a servant, instead of a more docile and accepting beta. There were many answers to that question. Now that she had him, she’d never long for such a beta instead of Jacob, but if he could occasionally revert to a more docile alter ego, it would certainly make moments like this go more smoothly.

  “This time, I have to go alone. You have to obey me, stay here and stay safe. I know it goes against every instinct you have in that great, noble heart of yours, but it’s the way it must be. There is no other option, except failure and its consequences, and we cannot risk Rhoswen’s consequences. I will not risk them. But beyond that, this is a quest I must follow.

  Not because of Rhoswen’s demands or motives, not because I fear her. No matter Keldwyn’s motives, or Tabor’s purported alliance with me, I have to take command of my own destiny.

  “Plus,” she added, “I want what she wants. I want to put my hands on that rose bush. I want to hold his soul in my hand, the closest I’ve ever been to him.

  She denied me the chance to see him at the cemetery, and she has denied him. With that soul in my hand, I might at least be able to give him some peace, let him see who I’ve become.”

  Though she’d thought of her father often over the centuries, he’d been a symbol, a concept, an inspiration. Last night’s events in the cemetery had made him real. She wanted to hold that true sense of him, feel his presence, let him feel hers.

  He pul ed back from her. “This isn’t just my stubbornness, my lady, I swear. Everything in me says I’m not supposed to let you do this alone, no matter how that sounds. You’ve always relied on my gut before.”

  “But your gut is wrapped up in your feelings for me, you impossible man.” She shook her head at him, wanting to smile, but things were too tight in her chest to allow that.
Remember the night I told you about my mother? About her dying of grief? I wasn’t aware of it then, but the impact that left with me is part of what gave you access to my heart, Jacob.

  When death comes, I will meet it as a queen should, without flinching. That is my hope. But I refuse to die of loneliness, that isolation of the heart and soul never given fully to another. Because I have you, I won’t. And that eases me, more than you can ever know. I can face whatever this is, because even when you are not physically at my side, you are there. Do you understand?”

  As he stood, unresponsive, she stroked his face.

  She shut her eyes as he tightened his grip once more, but this time he pressed his lips into her palm.

  “You have ever known what to say to humble me, my lady. But this tears me apart inside, you know that. I can bear anything in this world except being away from you when you might have need of me.”

  “Well, just think how much more appreciative I'll be of your services when I get back.”

  His lips tugged up in that wry smile she loved so well. “Yes. I’m certain that will be the case.”

  “I sense sarcasm, Sir Vagabond. Maybe you can work on that insolence problem while I’m away.

  Though I’m sure it would take far more than three days to resolve it. I would likely have to be involved, with a barbed whip to help inspire you.”

  “This flesh, heart and soul is yours to flay anytime, my lady,” he assured her. He narrowed his gaze at the pack. “She’s not letting you bring much.”

  “No.” She hefted the bag. “Knowing Rhoswen’s capriciousness, it’s even possible this won’t go through with me.”

  He pursed his lips, then left her to go to the nighttable. He lifted the sack Keldwyn had given him.

  “I’m betting this will . Wily bastard.” Retrieving his knife, he nicked his wrist, a deep gouge. Quickly pushing the narrow mouth of the sack against the wound, he let the stream of blood flow into it.

  “If you get injured, this will keep you for a little while. And when I’m done here, you'll drink your fill from me, to add to it.” He paused. “Or rather, I ask my lady to please take advantage of what her servant has to offer, to bolster your strength.”

  “You do remember how to ask permission. I was beginning to wonder. You forget your courtly demeanor when you’re in a foul temper.” She took over the steadying hold on the neck of the sack. “You forget you’re my servant.”

  With the freed hand, he cupped her face, fingers wrapping around her nape. “I never forget that, my lady.” She held his gaze, neither of them speaking, his blood flowing between them. When it was nearly full , she put her slim, feminine fingers around the thick wrist to bring it to her mouth. Fastening her lips over that cut, she drew deep. He muttered another oath, pul ed her closer.

  She at least accepted this part of his counsel, taking as much as she could without feeling overfed, enough that he looked somewhat pale when she finished. She didn’t like doing that, but it would reassure him that he’d done what he could. And it wasn’t patronizing him to think of it that way, because he was right. The extra blood would help if she was wounded or needed an abundance of strength.

  Still, as he brought her over to the bed and stretched out on it, drawing her down upon him, she traced his mouth, brought her own to it, let him taste his blood there. “What about you? How will you feed to replenish yourself?”

  “I'll figure out something. How are you going to find the rose bush?”

  “The same.” She gave him her mysterious smile, but also showed him an indication of what she was thinking. With Rhoswen’s spies about, she wasn’t going to voice it. He nodded thoughtfully.

  “That might work. Of course, maybe one day our Fae friends will start giving straight answers to simple questions.”

  “Peace and love will overflow in our world before such an unlikely thing happens.”

  “I can see the Vampire Council sharing a group hug now.”

  “I’d kill all of them out of sheer horror. Mason would help.”

  The skin around his blue eyes creased, appreciating her, but then they held gazes for another long moment. Standing up on the bed, she slid off her leggings, accepting his hands on her calves to steady her. “Take off the hose.” He complied, and he was swelling for her, ready.

  She came down on him, slowly, letting him penetrate deep. “Your hands above your head, love,” she whispered. “Give yourself to me, utterly.” He wanted to touch, hold, but he did it, his jaw working as she seated herself fully with a soft sigh.

  Her nipples were taut, straining against the snug fit of her tunic as she arched back, her hands reaching behind her to course up his inner thighs, run her nails over the sensitive flesh there.

  She loved the way he felt inside of her. The first time she’d taken him this way, restrained merely by her command, was in her pool at the Atlanta estate.

  She’d fed from him and taken her own pleasure, but had not given herself the gift of intimacy with him.

  She regretted that now. Regretted every moment she spent holding herself away from him. The relationship had become so much more, once she learned to trust him as much as she demanded that he trust her. Bending down, she teased his throat with her tongue and teeth, moved down to lick at his nipple as she tightened her muscles on him, sliding down, then back up.

  “Fuck, you’re wet,” he managed. “Let me touch you.”

  She shook her head. It was easier here, to pul magic from the energy between them, from the earth itself. His gaze snapped up as the posts of the bed became thick, rootlike branches that curved around his wrists, his forearms, reminiscent of what she’d done to him at the trellis at Mason’s home. Only this time her magic was even stronger. The roots held him fast no matter how his biceps bunched, straining against them. The growth continued, over his chest, under, arching him up off the bed so when she came back down, scored his nipple with sharp teeth, drawing a tiny drop of blood, he let out a strangled sound, fingers flexing.

  Behind her, the posts at the end of the bed were sprouting roots as well, roots that wound around his bare legs, then up and up, until she felt the rough texture of them slide against her inner thighs. He made a startled noise as one of those roots snaked underneath his testicles, putting pressure there as it insinuated itself between his buttocks, stopping as it reached the small of his back. Then it swelled to a thickness that parted the cheeks, held him open so that his jerks against the stimulation only increased its friction against his anus.

  The only area left unbound was where she was mounted upon him. Bending forward, she let her hair trail over his bare skin in that way she knew he loved, that made him want her more. Wherever bare skin showed, she teased him with mouth, tongue, teeth and fingers, until he was surging up against her as much as he was able, fighting to fuck her with the full passion she was unleashing in him. Like his blood, this had a power and energy all its own. She was safe from his bite, because no matter how savage that desire became, he wouldn’t take blood from her now, nothing to drain her energy. Leaning down, she nipped his lips, even as he growled against her.

  “Bring your pussy up to my mouth. Let me taste you, eat your cream. Let me pleasure you.” She allowed that, straddling his head. A guttural sound of contented lust vibrated in her throat as he used that knowledgeable tongue, the delicate play of fangs and teeth, to work her clit, to emulate the act of fucking her, to make up for the temporary loss of his cock. “Love eating your pussy… making me so fucking hard…”

  The words of raw male want, an additional stimulation, made her tremble. She wanted to come that way, and she did, stiffening and arching up, crying out the pleasure as he kept up the fast thrust of his tongue, the worrying of her clit in the firm press of his lips, the slide of his jaw along the inside of her thighs. His voice was in her mind, fully focused.

  Come for me… give me your come, let me have the taste of you on my mouth, inside of me.

  Fuck me, my lady. Fuck me now while your cu
nt is still quivering. Let me feel it.

  She wanted that, too. Pulling away from his mouth, she shifted down and slammed onto his cock with force, giving herself the excruciating pleasure of his enormous thickness shoving deep into her. The nearly unbearable aftershocks mounted as she pumped him, gripping him, rising and falling along his length. She watched all those delicious muscles constrict against the torment she was inflicting upon him. He was exercising his full strength against the enchantment, and that was what she wanted. She wanted it tested. She reinforced several places when she saw movement in the bindings, though the focus it required was astronomical, her body still captured in the grip of the pleasure he’d given it.

  “Come for me, Jacob. Come for your Mistress.” He let go, her muscles milking him, giving him no choice in the matter whatsoever. He groaned out the release, called out to her. Bending down, she fastened her lips over his in a desperate, needy, everything-she-felt kiss. He answered the hunger and need, everything in his response a demand to her to release him, to let him hold her.

  But she couldn’t do that. As he finished, she kept riding him until he was jerking at the sensitivity. It made her lips curve in that feline smile that exasperated him, her delight in torturing him. When she at last lifted off of him, it was with reluctance.

  Time was passing, though, the parameter Rhoswen had set.

  She didn’t clean herself. She wanted his seed inside of her, wanted his scent on her body. So she put the leggings back on, slid the strap of the pack on her shoulder, making sure the waterproof flask with the blood was placed carefully in it. Then she moved to the window, making sure the curtain was secure to protect him from the sun that had crested the horizon in early morning mel ow pinks and yellows. Turning, she gazed at him through the sudden darkness. His eyes glowed at her.

  “Having you bound won’t make it easier, but I know you won’t fight and lose against your fledgling bloodlust to follow me, despite the sunlight. At nightfall, the enchantment will fade, and you'll be able to move. Be here for me, Jacob. Be here for me when I come back.”

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